How does Airwallex keep my money safe (UK & European Customers)

Airwallex is committed to keeping your funds safe. Airwallex is regulated and licensed where required by the various countries in which it operates, providing you with confidence that payments you make are done through a platform that is compliant. The way in which Airwallex is required by law to keep your funds safe is determined by the laws of the country in which we provide you with our services.

The Netherlands

In the Netherlands, Airwallex’s operating company, Airwallex (Netherlands) B.V.  (‘Airwallex NL ’) holds an Electronic Money Institution license issued by the Dutch Central Bank (De Nederlandsche Bank). For safeguarding to protect you, the e-money institution must have measures in place that follow rules set by De Nederlandsche Bank. As part of our EMI licence, we have put in place ‘safeguarding’ measures to protect all of our customers' funds in line with these rules

The purpose of safeguarding is to ensure that your funds are kept separate from Airwallex NL’s own funds that it uses for its business operations and are protected from the moment Airwallex NL receives the funds, until you make payout or request a redemption (withdrawal) of your balance. This means that the money that you receive into your Wallet, is fully backed by money that we hold in separate bank accounts. Moreover, in accordance with Dutch law those bank accounts are held by an independent custodian called Airwallex Netherlands Foundation (the “Foundation”), a so-called customer accounts foundation (stichting derdengelden). The Foundation is a separate and independent legal entity, ensuring that in the case of Airwallex NL’s insolvency your funds are still protected. The separately held money is only available for the purposes of giving you back your money on your request. Furthermore, this separately held money is not available to any of Airwallex’s creditors, our banks or third parties. It means that whenever you ask us to redeem (withdraw) your e-money or make a payout, that money will be available. 

You may have heard of the Deposit Guarantee Scheme (depositogarantiestelsel, “DGS”)  and wonder how this differs from the safeguarding process described above. Certain authorised financial services firms (such as an authorised bank) do not have the same safeguarding obligations as firms such as Airwallex NL, but instead are required to participate in the DGS.  The DGS protects consumers together with some businesses (that meet its eligibility criteria) should a bank fail and they cannot return your money to you. The DGS acts like an insurance policy for bank accounts and pays out up to a maximum of EUR 100,000 per eligible person, per bank. Both the safeguarding regime and DGS provide different levels of protection and risk but ultimately aim to ensure your funds are protected. For the avoidance of doubt , Electronic Money Institutions like Airwallex NL do not participate in the DGS.

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, Airwallex’s operating company, Airwallex (UK) Limited (‘Airwallex UK’)  holds an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) license issued by the Financial Conduct Authority. For safeguarding to protect you, the e-money institution must have measures in place that follow rules set by the Financial Conduct Authority. As part of our EMI licence, we have put in place ‘safeguarding’ measures to protect all of our customers' funds in line with these rules.

The purpose of safeguarding is to ensure that your funds are kept separate from Airwallex UK’s own funds that it uses for its business operations and are protected from the moment Airwallex UK receives the funds, until you make payout or request a redemption (withdrawal) of your balance. This means that the money that you receive into your Wallet, is fully backed by money that we hold in separate bank accounts. The separately held money is only available for the purposes of giving you back your money on your request. Furthermore, this separately held money is not available to any of Airwallex’s creditors, our banks or third parties. It means that whenever you ask us to redeem (withdraw) your e-money or make a payout, that money will be available. 

In the unlikely event of Airwallex UK ceasing business operations or going into insolvency, liquidation or bankruptcy, your funds kept with us will be safely set aside in the safeguarding account, and you receive them back  in priority to all our other creditors.  Please do note that, however, at that time, the appointed insolvency practitioner, who will be distributing your funds back to you, may charge you a standard fee which the practitioner will deduct from the balance of your account prior to returning the funds to you. This fee is not charged by Airwallex UK

You may have heard of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (“FSCS”) and wonder how this differs from the safeguarding process described above. Certain authorised financial services firms (such as a UK authorised bank) do not have the same safeguarding obligations as firms such as Airwallex UK, but instead are required to participate in the FSCS.  The FSCS protects consumers together with some small businesses, limited companies and charities (that meet its eligibility criteria) should a bank fail and they cannot return your money to you. The FSCS acts like an insurance policy for bank accounts and pays out up to a maximum of £85,000 per eligible person, per bank, building society or credit union or up to £170,000 for joint accounts. Both the safeguarding regime and FSCS provide different levels of protection and risk but ultimately aim to ensure your funds are protected. As Airwallex UK is not a bank and is not covered by the FSCS, in the event of our insolvency, you will not be eligible for the protection under the FSCS.

We are available to discuss this further if you have any questions or if you would like to find out more please contact support@airwallex.com. More information about using a non-bank payment service provider (such as Airwallex) and the protections they offer can be found on the FCA’s website at https://www.fca.org.uk/consumers/using-payment-service-providers

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